When I was sent a link to a picture of a married couple who owned their own comic book store, I am sad to say that my innate stereotypical prejudices won out and, in so many ways, I didn’t expect…
But this is San Francisco and the Whatever Store, a comic store that sells comics and… whatever. With a profile on local site Hoodline.
“I love the Castro,” said Rich. “I want my store on this street.” Rich and Cougar stressed to us that Whatever is a friendly environment, flying rainbow, leather, and bear flags, while also remaining respectful to any and all visitors. “No put-downs of any kind will be tolerated,” Rich explained. “I even discourage use of the word ‘hate’ in any context. I want people to express their opinions in a safe space.”
Which probably isn’t a good sign for Peter Bagge getting his work stocked there. But good news for Brian Andersen...
In addition to offering popular mainstream titles published by the likes of DC, Marvel, and Archie Comics, the store has become known for featuring the work of local LGBTQ artists and writers. One such title was So Super Duper, gay artist Brian Andersen’s comic about a gay superhero. The comic was so popular that it launched Andersen’s career as a writer and artist; he now publishes a number of LGBTQ-oriented comics.